Friday, November 19, 2010

Remembering a friend...

Here's the thing about a blog; sometimes no matter how hard I try, I can't come up with anything to say.  On the other hand, sometimes I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I can't organize my thoughts enough to get them out in a coherent manner.  When my head gets stuffed full of thoughts and ideas like that, sometimes I dream that I am blogging.  In my dream I will compose an entire post, inserting photos and typing and everything!

Is that weird?

Anyway, the thing about those dream posts, is that they are awesome!  They are always witty and wonderful.  Unfortunately, I can rarely remember them the next morning.  Maybe it is just my brain's way of emptying out the excess material.

For the past week or so though I have dreamed that I was blogging about an old friend.  

And I remember this dream.

Of course, I can't remember all of the witty and wonderful things from my dream...but I do remember the content of these amazing and insightful posts. 

The dream posts were always about this guy...
This is my friend, Ken.  I met him when I was at FSU in the mid 1980's.  We both worked at the Cinema-n-Drafthouse and Ken became like a surrogate older brother to me.

He was the one I could talk to about boys.  He thought the guy I was dating at the time was a jerk and wasn't good enough for me (he was right!) and he always told me that I should never settle.  Unfortunately, it took me a few more years of dating immature, selfish jerks before I finally believed him.

He taught me how to replace the headlight on my aging Toyota.  When the battery died, he came and got me and showed me how the clean the connections with coca cola, and then he taught me how to replace the battery.  

When I was sleeping on a friend's living room sofa for a couple of months while waiting for an apartment, he invited me to stay in HIS apartment, which had an empty bedroom.  He wouldn't let me pay rent - instead I bought food, cleaned, and cooked (the only things I knew how to cook - Chicken Tetrazzini and cookies!) for Ken and his roommate.  Luckily for me, college boys aren't too particular about what they eat!

After Ken graduated, he moved back home to Coral Gables for a bit before getting a job as a pilot for Pan Am Express.  We stayed in touch for years.  I stayed at his parent's home in Coral Gables for week after he graduated and we talked almost every week until around 1988.  I sent him care packages of (what else?) cookies, and I still called him to ask his advice about (again, what else?) boys.  He encouraged me to apply for my first airline job.

We lost touch when he started a new job and moved at the same time that I was starting a new job and moving.  I was never worried - I always had a sense that I would run into him in an airport or on an airplane some day.  I took it for granted that we would see each other again...after all, we were young and healthy and had our entire lives in front of us.  We both worked in the airline industry - of course we'd be in touch again!

Many years later, after fruitlessly searching for my friend online for several weeks, I found his obituary.  My buddy, my surrogate big brother, was killed in a car accident in November of 1996.  He left behind a wife and two young sons.

So this post, this post that I dreamed about, is dedicated to my friend.  He's gone now, but I want the world to know what an amazing person he was.  He was funny, and generous, supportive and kind.  

I want the world to know what an impact he had on my life.  He taught me to value myself, and encouraged me to go after my dreams. He believed in me.

I loved my buddy, my big brother.
I miss him.

And I will never forget him.

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